A recent monthly European Electric Car Study by Schmidt Automotive Research sheds light on the remarkable growth in the West European passenger car market, where over 10 million plug-in passenger cars have been introduced between 2012 and October 2023.
The study highlights a noteworthy acceleration, with the first million cumulative plug-in cars taking over six years to enter the market, while the subsequent ten months alone witnessed an addition of 2.37 million plug-in hybrids or pure electric Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) from January to October.
Of the combined plug-in total, six million were attributed to BEVs, primarily associated with Tesla and Volkswagen's ID.3 model. Tesla, contributing one million units across the 18-market West European region up to October, played a significant role, alongside the VW Group, which delivered over 1.2 million zero-emission models during the same period.
Schmidt Automotive Research anticipates a surge in the number of pure electric BEV models on West European roads, with expectations reaching 41.4 million by January 1, 2031. A substantial portion of these additions, around 35 million models, is projected within the next seven years, driven by evolving legislation that encourages a broader range of models on the roads.
The market research also indicates a shift in the private market's role, foreseeing a more substantial proportion of volumes as manufacturers introduce more affordable models. This shift is expected to align with various mandates and compliance targets, particularly in the latter part of the decade. The SMMT-supplied data from the UK underscores this trend, revealing that 3-in-4 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) registered in the country within the first ten months of the year were corporate drivers benefiting from lower benefit-in-kind tax rates.
As governments and manufacturers respond to tightening EU CO2 legislation and regional mandates like the UK's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) requirements, the industry is poised for increased scaling benefits. This, coupled with traditional manufacturers overcoming initial challenges in electrification, is expected to usher in more affordable models and drive further growth in the electric vehicle market.